I played the drums as a kid starting in fourth grade up into college. My family suffered through many hours (and headaches) of me beating the skins to jazz, funk, and rock music. When I started playing with the school band, I had to learn that making music wasn’t about how fast I could do flam-a-diddles or how loud I could play, but how I played in relation to the other band members. If the music called for adagio (slow & leisurely pace) it would be a bad idea to break into an In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida drum solo while everyone else is playing elevator music.
Excerpted from The Project Management Advisor - 18 Major Project Screw-Ups And How To Cut Them Off At The Pass (Prentice Hall, 2004)
Talk about your character-building experience...
I was a young hot-shot project manager on an engagement that I had sold to a client. I had it all planned out and had delusions of completely delighting my client with an issue-free project. It all seemed so simple, then the project started...and never finished.
I'll spare you the gory details of my harrowing experience but what I can tell you is that I put more focus on selling and planning the project than I did on its execution. I took a naive attitude of the project being able to pretty much run itself with some junior analysts running the day-to-day aspects of the work. It blew up in my face and I got booted from the client never to return again. It was my inaugural visit to the project management guillotine.
Typically, career choices are made based upon responsibilities, compensation, or prestige where a businessperson makes a change to get a higher salary, more responsibility, or greater prestige. What about the situation, though, where the driver behind a career choice isn’t any of these; where it’s the needs of a child that drive the change? My choice was precisely that.
Trevor was a happy, normal, active baby. He was able to laugh, coo, cry, and do all of the other normal things that his big sister, Briana did at that age. To my wife Patty and me, everything seemed to be just fine. At about age two, we noticed that Trevor was hardly saying any words and was very into his own world with puzzles, coloring, and videos.
Many with ASD are perfectly content being on their own, focused on their favorite activities. This can be perplexing, particularly when the autistic child has siblings who like interaction. Briana was a very social child who craved interaction. Trevor was the polar opposite. As an adult, he still needs his alone time.
See all 100 lessons at GrowingUpAutistic.com
Some time back I was responsible for a portfolio of projects being done within the finance organization of my company. One of the projects was outsourced to a large consulting firm who supplied the project management, analysis, and development resources to the project. I would hold weekly meetings with the project manager who consistently gave me a "thumbs up" on the project up to the first key milestone being hit. When the week of the first milestone approached, he announced that the milestone was going to have to slip by a week to ensure successful delivery. The next week came along and again the project slipped a week. This went on for two more weeks with the promise of "we'll for sure nail it next week." I decided to do some crawling around the project to assess where the project was really at. Turns out we were at least a month away from delivering to the milestone which was already a month late.
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